A's Pounded by Nationals as Offense Goes Silent

OAKLAND — What a return to the Bay Area it’s been for Dusty Baker.

After his Washington Nationals swept the Giants at AT&T Park, Baker rang up the 1,800th victory of his managerial career Friday night at the Coliseum as the Nationals rolled over the A’s 13-3 to open up a three-game series.

So much for Oakland catching a break not having to face Bryce Harper. Washington, leading the National League in runs, homers, batting average and every other significant offensive category, clobbered five A’s pitchers for five home runs and 20 hits as Harper served the second of his three-game suspension for brawling with Giants pitcher Hunter Strickland.

The 67-year-old Baker, who finished his 19-year playing career with the A’s, began managing way back in 1993 with the Giants. On Friday, he became the 16th skipper in major league history to reach the 1,800-win milestone. Twelve of those other managers are in the Hall of Fame.

A’s starter Andrew Triggs (5-5) exited after a season-low 3 2/3 innings and was tagged for six runs, including homers by Daniel Murphy and Michael Taylor. Matt Joyce’s two-run homer pulled the A’s into a 2-2 tie in the third, but Triggs couldn’t get the shutdown inning he wanted as the Nationals batted around during a four-run fourth. The 13 runs and 20 hits allowed were season highs for the A’s.

Where’s the silver lining?

Yonder Alonso connected for his 15th home run, on the heels of his epic month of May that included a major league-best 10 homers.

There’s also this: After the A’s set an Oakland record by striking out 59 times over a four-game series in Cleveland, they whiffed “only” eight times Friday against Stephen Strasburg and the Nats’ bullpen.

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